A NICE PLACE TO VISIT

A NICE PLACE TO VISIT

A NICE PLACE TO VISIT

HEBREWS 10:32-34

Today I want you to think of the best vacation you’ve ever taken. Have you had a good one? Or a great one? If you haven’t yet, you certainly deserve it.

When a good vacation comes to an end, you usually come away thinking two things.

One, I’d like to do this again sometime; as soon as I can, I’m coming back.

And two, inevitably you end up thinking: this is a great place to visit for a few short days, but I wouldn’t want to live here forever. Why? Simple. Because rest and relaxation are great, but that’s not what our lives are about. As much as I enjoy a pleasant getaway, my life is really about the work that I do.

Now, the flip side. Think about the worst vacation you’ve ever taken. Has it happened to you yet? Have you ever spent weeks planning every detail, paying in advance, getting your hopes up, and then everything goes wrong?

Today I want to talk to about the mental vacations that we sometimes take. The places we visit in our thoughts and in our memories. I want to talk to you about how these thoughts and memories affect our lives in the present.

Today we’ll talk about the principle of reconnection. This is what it is. I’m inviting you to reconnect with the best part of your past, not so that you spend all your time dwelling on it, but so you can use it to empower your life today. I’m saying that you don’t want to live in the past, but it is a nice place to visit sometimes.

The keyword is reconnect — and there are three other “re” words that we will look at as we learn how to put this principle into practice.

  1. REMEMBER how things used to be. (v 32)

Remembering the best days gave us the strength and the hope to try again.

We need to remember the days of victory. The problem is that we’re oftentimes prone to do the opposite — to remember the worst days of our lives, to dwell on the times we failed, to replay and review defeat after defeat after defeat. With every playback, we become more and more convinced that this is who we are and things will never ever change.

If you want to make these days your glory days, then get in the habit of thinking back to the best days of your life, and reliving your moments of greatest victory.

  1. REPEAT the things you used to do.

Complacency has always been a danger in the spiritual life. It’s easy to get a little lazy, a little too comfortable, and then to lose focus on what really matters.

When Jesus spoke to the seven churches in the book of Revelation, this is what he said to one of them, the church of Ephesus. He said, “I know your deeds, your hard work and perseverance …”

“Yet I hold this against you. You have forsaken your first love…” (Revelation 2:4-5)

What is our first love? The relationship we have with God through Jesus Christ.

When you think back to your best days, what were you doing that made those days so special? Specifically, what were you doing right?

Notice that Jesus didn’t tell the Ephesians to repent and feel what they used to feel. He said, in effect, “Do what you used to do.”

If you want these days to be like the best days of your past, then make it a point to repeat today what you used to do back then.

  1. RECAPTURE your greatest victories.

You know the story of David and Goliath. Israel was at war with the Philistines. Goliath the giant challenged any Israelite soldier to come and fight him, and they all cowered in fear. David showed up on the scene, found out what was going on, and said to the king…(1 Samuel 17:32-37)

Do you see what he was doing? He was reframing his past victories: I killed the lion, I killed the bear, I can kill this Philistine.

Take a look back at your past victories. What do they teach you today? One thing they teach you is: If you did it once, you can do it again. And if you did it then, you can do it now.

He’s saying remember the past — not in order to live there, but to recapture the power you experienced before. Because if you did it then, you can do it again, and you can do it now.

CONCLUSION

You’ve got a choice about which places you’ll let your thoughts visit — where you’ll take your mental vacations, so to speak.

Will you go back to the worst part of your past, and relive those failures and defeats again and again and again, like taking a vacation in some run down hotel with no air and a million mosquitoes and roaches?

Or will you revisit the best days of your life, the most overwhelming victories and the greatest moments of power, like staying in a five-star hotel with an ocean breeze and ocean view. Which do you prefer?

Do you want these days to be your glory days? Then pick up where the best days of your life left off … Do today what you did back then … if you did it then, you can do it again, and you can do it now. This is the time of your life.

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